Banging my head against the Wall......

Actually, throwing my head against the wall would have been less painful than what I went through yesterday.


Here is the story.

Yesterday, two women pulled slowly up my lane.  I know them. I was shocked as I know how they feel about gravel roads.  Their cars are precious to them ..... objects that show wealth .... and gravel roads tarnish the shine that is oh-so-important.

The first thing out of their mouths was about my barn quilt and who painted it.  They were surprised when I said I had done it.  Then, they looked at another barn quilt as said, "But you didn't do that one."  But I had.

It was my Carolina Lily barn quilt.  The hardest barn quilt I painted and I. Will. Never. Ever. do one on point Again. But I learned that by doing it.  Myself.

They walked through the gardens, pointing out weeds, asking about what we didn't grow.

The Summer Kitchen was unimpressive.  My gardens ... uninspiring.

I showed them my kitchen.  No response.  Yes, it was a mess.  My floor needed sweeping. My counter still had some of my Stringtown purchases. I had freshly made pasta, drying on the towels.

"Did you cut this by hand?"  No, I ran it through my hand crank Atlas pasta machine.  "Oh. I cut my noodles by hand."  Another fail by Miss Eff.

My sewing machine was on the kitchen table, stacked with fabric, ribbon, and elastic ...... as I worked on bowl covers.  The fabric tells me what it wants to be .... a sandwich bag, a small tote,a bowl cover, or maybe an apron.  Sometimes, all the above.  But it was a jumble of color on the table.  And the color inspires me.  There was an uncompleted seam under the pressure foot .... where I had stopped to answer the door.

I had just taken two pints of canned beets out of the pressure canner.  We had thinned the beets and I diced the thinnings for the canner.  And I heard, "No onions? I put onions in mine".  Well .... these were canned beets, not pickled beets.  But again, I was wrong for not pickling them.

They saw flaws and failures instead of joy and progress.

They did not see the new well, the new roof, the new water softener, the new furnace, the custom wood windows. They didn't see the new siding that Honey has to cut to size and prime every side before it goes up.

All they saw were weeds and unpainted wood and failure to produce in the way they would. 

And I cried.

Then through my tears ..... I realized what I do have.

I have a home where people come to cuddle kittens.  I have a farm where people drive directly from Chicago to buy eggs and flowers. I teach children to make hollyhock dolls and how to hold a kitten. We sit on the ground and talk to people from all over the world!  I have a place where Japanese journalists come on a quiet Sunday morning to experience Iowa ..... and call me a quiet and gentle farm wife.  And a place .... where summer isn't complete until they have been to Miss Effie's.

I have a porch with two chairs where we sit every evening, drinking the beverage of our choice, holding hands and discussing the days' events.

I have hens that gift me breakfast ..... and a garden that provides supper.  And the ability and knowledge to keep the pantry full of homegrown goodness throughout the cold Iowa winter.

I have a swing that hangs from a tree that seems to magically erase the sorrows of the day.  And my flowers have seen joy at weddings, tears at funerals and laughter at countless dinner tables.

Wealth may be counted in many ways.  Some .... may count the bottom line on their bank account.

I will count mine in the joy and happiness and love that this little farm brings to others. My wealth is the  happiness, laughter and love that I have under my solid dry roof of my unpainted farmhouse.

I am the richest woman on earth.


Vonlipi said…
Yes you are a rich woman. You should never, ever cry because of shallow, superficial bitchy women.

Be proud, be yourself!

Hugs, Valerie x
Catherine said…
As I am soon to give up my farm and move far away, your post stabs my heart. Those poor women who visited will never be really happy or content, will never feel the rush of seeing the first bloom in Spring or the thrill of the first egg from a new hen, or the joy on a grandchild's face when she sees the new kittens. I know that What you have is worth more than they will ever know.
Laura Briney said…
Your farm is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and I was honored to use your flowers for my wedding bouquet. And above all, you are one of the most beautiful souls I know, and that is what makes your farm so wonderful. Keep on doing you!
cyberartiste said…
Rudeness and lack of manners abounds in this world. I'm sorry that you felt the sting of their ignorance.
annette doonan said…
How sad that some people can not see the beauty of the earth and the joy of living and rejoicing in its gifts.
Pat C said…
You have so many talents and a joyful approach to life. I am sorry your rude and judgemental visitors were unable to appreciate what you have created. Keep the faith, Miss Effie!!
Oh I'm so sorry you had to deal with this. This post just broke my heart. You are such a joy and a gift to others and the world. There are some people who are so unhappy they must try to bring others down. And those who do that are not rich at all. Hugs!
Sue Mercer said…
"EFF that nonsense" We are suposed to
"Store your riches in Heaven, material things will rust here on earth". Keep shining the light. Stay humble. Give thanks. Be kind. Grieve for those who are focused on material possessions only. You are living a life of contentment. Perhaps they are jealous and can only express that in negativity. File that under "DIFFERENT is not spelled "W.R.O.N.G". Pray they find peace, and move on. Blessings to you, keep on keepin on..
Holly Carlson said…
I am so very sorry that anyone would make you feel "less than". You don't can, plant, paint, sew and so many other tasks for people who feel the need to minimize your creations. You do so many tasks and works of "love" for those of us who appreciate the work, time and effort that goes into your creations. Your visions, whether it's an embroidered pillowcase or a jar of jam, are created with love. Even though I haven't made it there to see your works of art in person, I can appreciate your vision and all of the time and work that goes into your crafts and flowers. I follow you online and I enjoy each and every picture of flowers, kittens and chickens that you post! Those women should be ashamed of themselves for making anyone feel "less than". You are a wonderful gift from God and I appreciate the joy and love you bring not only to me, but to our world!!! <3

suestraz said…
Some people seem to have to put down others to make them feel like they are better than you. It backfires though, they make themselves sound rude and condescending. They should keep their mouths shut and realize everyone has their own way of doing things that work best for them. I'm sorry you had to listen to them and I hope you realize that your are a one of kind special person who puts joy and happiness in a lot of people because of who you are and the way you do things your way. You are a blessing to all!!
Judy Hughes said…
I am sitting here absolutely stunned at the behavior of those shallow women. I love everything about your farm and, as you know, when I come to visit my son and his family from Texas, your farm (mainly you) are the first place I want to see. I love everything about you as a person...I love your kindness, your enthusiasm, your talents (which are many), your intellect, and especially your ability to turn a wonderful farmhouse and land into truly a Brigadoon. I feel such peace and happiness when I am there and I think of you, not only every day when I read your posts but every time I spread your delicious homemade jam on my toast in the morning and every time I put on your Church Lady's apron to cook my evening meal. You are an inspiration to me every time I see you. I love your cats...I am a "cat person" best friend is my cat, Jake. And I must add, you should write for a living because you are so talented...put a book on your "bucket list"! The only thing I can say about those superficial women is that I feel sorry for their shallow, insignificant miserable they must be! Love you! Judy
LoriGail said…
Wow, thank you for sharing this experience so openly and vulnerably. Historically, I have been very hard on myself......nothing I did was ever good enough.....and I would use that to talk myself out of taking life by the horns and living it for pleasure.....out of the mouths of those women were the very same words I've used at myself. I've grown and am becoming more gentle with me, giving myself grace for the process of learning and BEcoming......surrendering to my strengths and weaknesses.....accepting, allowing and moving through them.
The first time at your farm I looked around and thought "I absolutely love how Real this is!" I loved how you opened the door of your heart and home to share your gifts and talents. I love how authentic you are, how loving you are, and how strong you are. Watching you paved a way for me to feel more at ease with myself.....thank you.
The last time I visited your place it was to bring my grandmothers canning jars......those jars meant a lot to me and were just about all I had from her.....I had no doubt that you should have them because of who you are and what your intention is in establishing your farm and gardens. I have a passion to see folks learn the arts of homemaking.....preserving.....down to earth skills can be empowering.....I support that.....and I totally support you. I admire you and what you's awesome Miss Effie......
BTW......who puts onions in with beets? Not me! LOL
Michelle said…
Boy, the devil was working hard at destroying all over the place yesterday, wasn't he. What a shame those women let him use them . . . and others.
Barb said…
I don't think those ladies would know happiness and contentment with a beautiful life if it came up and bit them in the patooties!!! There are those of us who know the wealth that you have and that you happily share with others. Some people just thrive on misery and are perfectly happy to shower others with it. As my dad would have said if he had heard the story......"Well, they aren't such a much!" You are blessed and a blessing. Never forget that!!! Hugs, hugs, hugs.
Becky Doyle said…
Hmmm. I note that you never say, in your post, if the women left . . . or not? Are they now quietly and permanently residing under the chicken coop? Is their spotless car now nose down in a creek on the back 40? Remember, Cathy, some of us know you from way back and know that the peaceful, forgiving, accepting Miss Effie is only a cover identity for Cathy Commando!!
Diane said…
You are awesome!!! Keep going!!
We all love you!

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